Biosensorix pens pact to develop rapid dengue, stroke tests

Biosensorix founders Luka Fajs, left, and Robert Marks, right. (Biosensorix)

Biosensorix has formed a collaboration with BGN Technologies to develop point-of-care diagnostics. The alliance with the technology transfer firm gives Biosensorix access to an electrochemical lateral flow immunosensor it thinks will enable the cheap, rapid testing of dengue and stroke.

Researchers at the Ben-Gurion University (BGU) developed the immunosensor to enable generation of quantitative data using low cost lateral flow test strips. This entailed integrating screen-printed gold electrodes into a paper lateral flow strip. The outcome is a test designed to deliver qualitative and quantitative results within 15 minutes while keeping costs down.

Biosensorix gained access to the technology by teaming up with BGN, which handles technology transfers for BGU. That done, Biosensorix is now working to apply the technology to the detection of dengue NS1 protein, an early use case for the BGU researchers. Biosensorix and BGU’s interest in dengue stems from the potential benefits of a fast, cheap test.

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“Most people with dengue fever can be released to home care, yet are kept at the hospital until results come in. Our kit provides physicians with true triage power: with the new diagnostic kit, the physician can release the patient within half an hour, saving time and money,” BGU’s Robert Marks said in a statement.

Stroke is the second condition on Biosensorix’s hit list. In that context, the appeal of the technology lies in its potential to assess the severity of stroke and detect secondary stroke early. Given the importance of responding quickly to stroke, Biosensorix thinks there is a market for a quick quantitative test.

Biosensorix expects the tests to cost $5 per kit.